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Learning to play
Interested in learning to play the carillon? Click here for a list of carillon instructors in North America, including the North American Carillon School which provides carillon education to a wide variety of musicians who desire to begin, improve or polish their carillon-playing skills.

The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America offers 2 levels of exams, which certify and acknowledge performance proficiency, including competency in musicianship and carillon technique. They are the Associate Carillonneur Exam and the Carillonneur Exam.

We recognize that our membership comes from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of achievement and professional goals. Through our exams, we want to encourage your professional development and recognize your growth and achievement.

Learn about the process of our exams below and prepare to apply!

Associate Carillonneur Exam

The Associate Carillonneur Exam evaluates your carillon performance skills at an intermediate level using repertoire of moderate difficulty. This exam is not a prerequisite to the Carillonneur Exam.

In the exam, will submit a few audio recordings (and optional videos) of you playing a carillon of any size. Two of the pieces of music you will record will come from a list of required pieces. In addition to playing, you will demonstrate your knowledge of the history of the carillon with a written history project of your choosing. You will also create sample concert programs.

There is an application fee of US$20 and you may apply at any time. The jury will review your application and provide valuable feedback throughout the process.

When you pass the Associate Carillonneur Exam, we will award you with a certificate of your accomplishment and we will make an announcement to our members so that they can celebrate you! In the GCNA Member Directory, your membership level will be promoted to Associate Carillonneur (AC).

Apply now

Carillonneur Exam

The Carillonneur Exam evaluates your carillon performance skills at an advanced level using repertoire of moderate to advanced difficulty. It should not be viewed as the final achievement of carillon playing, but rather as the beginning of a new stage in a lifelong commitment to learning and professional connection with the GCNA.

There are 3 stages to the exam: the teacher verification stage, the recording stage, and the Congress recital stage.

  1. Teacher verification stage: Your teacher or mentor verifies your exam readiness and vouches for the repertoire you can play by signing your exam application and list of repertoire.
  2. Recording stage: You will submit a few audio recordings of you playing a 4-octave carillon. Two of the pieces of music you will record will come from lists of required pieces. The exam jury will decide whether you pass this stage.
  3. Congress recital stage: You will attend the next GCNA Congress and play an exam recital for the jury and all attendees. The jury will decide whether they recommend that you pass the exam. If they recommend that you pass, the Carillonneur members of the GCNA will then vote on whether to promote you to Carillonneur member.

There is an application fee of US$40 and an annual deadline to apply in October. The exam is taken anonymously—at no point is anyone allowed to know that you are taking the exam except for your teacher/mentor and the chairs of the Carillonneur Exam Committee.

When you pass the Carillonneur Exam, we will reveal your identity at the Congress so your achievement can be celebrated! We will also award you a certificate of your accomplishment, and you will be entitled to play at future congresses as a "New Carillonneur Member." In the GCNA Member Directory, your membership level will be promoted to Carillonneur (C). Carillonneur members are entitled to vote on changes to the GCNA's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and are also entitled to vote on whether other members may be promoted to Carillonneur members.

Apply now

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